Wednesday 11 December 2019

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Awards for River Lee rescuers

Tuesday, 26th November, 2019 10:45am

Three brave Cork men will be honoured at an awards ceremony today for rescuing a man from drowning in the River Lee in March.

Fisheries officers Stephen Kiely, Sean Cremin and Tomás O’Riordan will each receive the Seiko Just in Time Rescue Award at the Water Safety Ireland’s National Annual Awards Ceremony in Dublin this afternoon.

On 8 March, Officers Stephen Kiely and Sean Cremin were on patrol in the River Lee when they were informed that a man was in the river. The officers rushed to the man’s location and together managed to bring the unconscious casualty onto the river bank.

Officer Tom Riordan then instructed Officer Cremin on various steps of responsiveness from the casualty and informed him that they should commence CPR.

Both Sean and Stephen performed CPR on the individual for approximately ten minutes until he eventually started to respond with signs of life. Emergency services arrived and took the casualty to hospital where he made a full recovery.

The award will be presented by Michael Ring, Minister for Rural & Community Development, who expressed his delight at the opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes. He said: “It is an honour to pay tribute to these deserving award recipients. Without their bravery, quick thinking and selflessness, the outcomes could have been very different.

“On average 124 people drown annually in Ireland and while one drowning is one too many, the figure would have been higher but for these courageous rescuers.”

The three Cork rescuers join a list of award recipents who together saved a combined 17 people from drowning across the country during 11 separate near-drowning incidents.

Other award recipients will include 61 volunteers who were presented with Long-Service Volunteer Awards, recognising a combined total of 1,275 years of personal service teaching swimming, water rescue and survival skills in communities nationwide.

“I would like to commend the efforts of Water Safety Ireland volunteers who devote their time and contribute to the year on year trend of reduced drownings,” said Minister Ring.

He added: “This summer, lifeguards rescued 260 people from drowning, administered first aid on 3,284 occasions and reunited with loved ones 289 lost children found wandering unsupervised near water.”

Martin O’Sullivan, Chairman of Water Safety Ireland, urged all adults to make themselves more aware of the dangers of drowning.

He said: “Tragedy can strike in seconds, but with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes, everyone can avoid the hazards and take responsibility for their own safety.”

The Water Safety Ireland’s National Annual Awards Ceremony will take place at the O’Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin this afternoon from 3–6pm.

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